Ocean County College’s Grunin Center Going All Out for Christmas This Weekend

Nov 21, 2018

If the long Thanksgiving weekend is the traditional kick-off of the Christmas season, then Ocean County College’s Grunin Center for the Arts is kicking it into the end zone. On Friday, Nov. 30, at 7:30 p.m. the Westminster Concert Bell Choir will perform a Christmas concert. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased online at grunincenter.org or at the box office, open up to one hour before the show.

Now, there are bell choirs and there are bell choirs. The Westminster Concert Bell Choir, directed by Kathleen Ebling Shaw, is in its 40th year. Hailing from Rider University's prestigious Westminster Choir College, it performs on the largest range of handbells in the world, ranging eight octaves. The bell choir has made several holiday appearances on “The Today Show,” is included on NPR’s “Christmas Around the Country II” recording and has performed holiday shows twice at Carnegie Hall. In other words, this isn’t your grandmother’s bell choir.

Saturday, Dec. 1, will feature two events. There will be a performance of “A Christmas Carol” at 1 p.m., and the Ocean County College Concert Band will perform “The Sounds of the Season” at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for children 12 years of age or younger for the former, and $20 for adults and $18 for seniors for the latter. Again, they may be purchased online at grunincenter.org or at the box office up to one hour before the show. A warning – the performance of “A Christmas Carol” is close to sold out.

On Sunday, Dec. 2, at 7 p.m. the Grunin Center will sound a whole lot like Ireland, thanks to a performance of “Christmas With the Celts.” You may be familiar with the Celts considering they had a string of PBS specials. Toss in some foot-stomping step dancers, some fiddles and a selection of both modern and indigenous instruments and your Irish – or not Irish, too – eyes will be smiling. Tickets range from $35 to $39 and may be purchased as above. Again, a warning, the show is selling briskly.

The Ocean County College Repertory Theatre Co. will present a Black Box Theatre performance of the comedy “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” from Dec. 6 through Dec. 16. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for seniors and students 14 years of age and younger and may be purchased online. Visit that website for exact times and dates of performances. —R..M.



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